I have listed here the top 3 restaurants for 2008, in my opinion, located in downtown Hattiesburg, MS. I have lived in the Hattiesburg area for about 3 ½ years and have eaten at many restaurants. Hattiesburg, MS is home to numerous chain restaurants but the three that I have chosen are all independently owned and operated. All three are located in the downtown area of Hattiesburg and are within easy walking distance of many art galleries, entertainment venues and stores.
Number one in my list of top restaurants in Hattiesburg, MS for 2008 is 206 Front-a restaurant named for its location-that serves nouveau cuisine. The restaurant features a seasonal menu with entrees ranging from squash ravioli with sage and tomato cream sauce to duck breast rendered and served on ratatouille with peppercorn sauce or rabbit braised with vegetables in brandy. The dining room has high ceilings in a modern, open setting with different hand-thrown chargers at every place setting. The open kitchen setting allows customers to view the chefs as they prepare the food. And the prices are easily half what you’d expect to see for the same quality in bigger cities. The wait staff are pleasant and friendly. There is a full bar in the upstairs section of the restaurant as well as outside seating on the upstairs terrace. For me, this restaurant has reasonable prices for fantastic tasting food and an upscale dining experience in an otherwise fairly downscale area. A full menu can be viewed at the restaurant’s website at http://www.206front.net/.
The second restaurant to make my list in Hattiesburg for 2008 is Brownstone’s located at 103 E. Front St in downtown Hattiesburg. Brownstone’s is a Bourbon Street style bistro and bar serving French Cajun and creole cuisine. The décor is comfortable and family oriented with live entertainment most evenings. Some of their most notable entrees include Pesto shrimp and artichoke hearts, crab cake and crayfish pasta and pecan crusted catfish with Pontchartrain sauce. Brownstone’s makes my list not only for the great food, but for the fact that it is a great restaurant to eat at when you are looking for reasonable prices and a less high class atmosphere. This is a great place for family get togethers or a meal after the game. A full menu can be viewed at their website at http://www.brownstones.com/index.htm.
The final restaurant on my list for 2008 is Bianchi’s Pizzeria located at 128 East Front Street. Bianchi’s is home to wood fired brick oven pizzas made with gourmet toppings. The cheeses alone are worth the trip as they are imported from Italy and make me drool just thinking of them. The restaurant has recently undertaken to switch their menu from exclusively pizza to a more well rounded Italian menu. They are now serving some traditional Italian pasta dishes with plans to widen their menu even further as time progresses. For now, the salads and pizza make this restaurant a must. Some of their gourmet pizzas are the Campanelli made with Marinara, Eggplant, Tomato, Zuchini, Mushrooms & Cheeses or the Spataro made with Alfredo sauce, Blackened Chicken, Carmelized Onion, Mushrooms & Cheeses. You can also get pizzas with your choice of toppings or even pizza by the slice for lunch! They are also now serving sandwiches as well as soups and salads and pastas. The prices are reasonable for the type of pizza you are served and the atmosphere is similar to a classic Italian eatery. The smell of the wood burning oven draws you in and makes you feel at home. You can visit their website at http://www.bianchispizzeria.com/ but the new menu has not been added as of yet.
All three of these restaurants have lunch and dinner menus that make me drool. The food is excellent, the service is professional and the atmospheres are perfect for each type of restaurant. Downtown Hattiesburg is growing so make sure to visit these three restaurants and get a taste of why they are so popular.